Oak Park Unified School District believes that all students should become proficient users of the Internet while developing digital citizenship skills and practicing safe, ethical, and respectful online behaviors. In order to help ensure that all students are trained in internet safety, ethical use, cyberbullying prevention, respect for intellectual property, and online privacy, the district has developed a comprehensive curriculum that addresses these topics in each elementary grade level (K-5). Digital Citizenship and Information Literacy topics are embedded within subject area curriculum standards at the secondary level (English, Social Science, etc.) and the district has coordinated with the different subject areas to ensure that digital citizenship skills and practices are reinforced in grades 6-12.
Classroom teachers work in conjunction with the computer lab instructors and instructional technology specialists (Technology Teachers on Special Assignment) to ensure that students are exposed to the digital aspects of citizenship and appropriate behavior so that the judgments and decisions students make when monitoring their behavior in their "analog," physical classroom and world also extend to their behaviors and judgements made in the "digital," on-line realm.
In compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Oak Park Unified School District employs an internet web content filter which explicitly prevents access to websites and weblinks with pornographic materials as well as a host of other categories of questionable material. All students have access to the Internet through the district's WiFi network, but that access is restricted and monitored. The district’s internet web filter acts invisibly in the background to limit access to inappropriate content when a student clicks on a link to a website containing such material. The district utilizes several web filter technologies including iBoss, GoGuardian, and PaloAlto depending on the device accessing the internet.
The internet web content filter does not allow links to prohibited content to be clicked to and would return a screen that says that the particular webpage is inaccessible due to the prohibited content on that page. Our internet content filter also prohibits searching for pornographic materials and refuses to pass on any pre-designated “key words” that would indicate a search for inappropriate material (pornography, bomb making, sex, etc.).
While all students do have access to internet web content, they are only granted access to webpages and websites based on the grade level of that student. There are different levels of restrictions, with the most restrictive access being the default level of access which the district has defined as that for grades K-2. The district places students in four categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Students in higher grades need to log in with their district provided username and password in order to be recognized as a user in a “higher” grade and thus allowed access to additional categories of internet websites (perhaps certain social media or video sites at the high school level, for example) that the default K-2 access level does not provide. Younger students do not need to log in because they are placed in the most restrictive environment, and the system automatically assigns them the most restrictive filtering policy.
Parents with questions or concerns are welcome to contact the district's Director of Technology for more information or clarification.
Parent Resources & Training
Parents often ask how they can educate themselves on what constitutes safe internet access and responsible digital citizenship habits and practices that they should be employing at home for their children. The district has conducted several training workshops appropriate for each grade range (Elementary, Middle, and High School) and parents of students in the district may watch videos of these trainings by clicking through the following links and logging in with their child's district provided username (firstname.lastname@example.org) and password. Parents are highly encouraged to watch these videos with their children and to discuss the topics and any questions that arise out of view these presentations.
Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety Workshops for Parents and Students (Click on the embedded hotlinks below)